For their math integer project, students had a menu of choices from which they could express their learning about integers in unique ways. Many students chose to make videos (via Jing, Educreations, iPad, Go Animate, etc.) to explain how to add and subtract integers, or to discuss integer problems in real life situations. Some also made posters, collages, song, raps, games, and stories.

After brainstorming criteria for the project with the class, I made this integer project rubric to assess the students' projects.

Below are samples of student work:

Adding and Subtracting Integers with Counters- Wyomie Math integers by Mariko
Integer videos by Grace:
Integer Prezi by Richard:
Integer Wordle by Cam:
Integer Poster by Ryna:
Hover your mouse over the image below!

When a classmate (Madame D.L.) shared about using ThingLink for French, I began thinking about how to incorporate it as a reflection tool for art, especially photography.

After learning about composition techniques and taking their own photos, students can upload their photo to ThingLink (just need to sign up for an account). They can then annotate the photo to explain their thought process and observations for the composition techniques used in the photo.
Students in Mr. Hong's class reflected on their learning: the skills they have gained, how they have become better learners, and how aspects of assessment for learning are helping them take ownership of their learning. 

Their comments have been compiled into the Wordle below. Feedback is a clear winner in terms of what students have found to be valuable!
As a part of my arts methods course, I created a visual journal via Mixbook to document my art work as well as to compile ideas for art projects. Many ideas for the art projects have come from the art work displayed at Hillcrest Elementary!
After learning about open-ended questions through both my math methods course and my inquiry project about differentiating math instruction, I was excited to try an open-ended question with my tutoring student (grade 9).

I decided to represent what I learned via Glogster:
I love seeing the wonder in students' eyes as they witness an extraordinary phenomenon. These demos and experiments will hopefully inspire their curiosity and prompt questions of inquiry about the intricate world around us. Experiments are grouped by topic.


1. Amazing 9 Layer density tower
2. Dyed ice cube melting in cooking oil
3. Coke Vs. Diet Coke Experiment

Freezing point/ Melting point

4.  “Ice fishing” (Fishing an Ice Cube)
5. Instant Freeze- Soda Ice
6. Homemade ice cream

Chemical vs. physical changes

7. Ivory Soap Souffle- microwave trick

Solubility & Rate at which Substances Dissolve

8. Rock candy

pH- acidic and basic characteristics

9. Red cabbage indicator

Please leave a comment if you have any additional ideas or exciting demos for teaching chemistry!

The power of video games to capture students' attention, time, and efforts has always astounded me; so when a classmate, Matthew Sun, mentioned using principles of video game design in classroom engagement, my curiosity was piqued:
How can educators harness the "fun factors" of video games to make learning more fun and engaging? 

The following principles for designing engaging video games (Hunicke, LeBlanc, and Zubek, 2004) could also be applied to teaching:

1. Discovery- exploring uncharted territory
  • Posing questions which do not have answers at the back of the textbook or in the teacher's mind
  • Allowing students to take the lead in their learning: giving them choice as to which area of the topic they want to explore (eg. passion-based learning)
2. Challenge- having obstacles to overcome, problems to solve
  • Integrating challenge-based learning and problem-based learning into the classroom
  • Ensuring that students who have more expertise in an area are receiving both scaffolding and problems to further stretch their thinking
3. Fellowship- having social interactions with peers
  • Teaching group work skills and providing opportunities for both in-person and online collaboration
  • Creating a supportive classroom community where students interact kindly and respectfully
4. Expression- having the opportunity to convey one's preferences and personality
  • Giving students choice as to how they want to express their ideas and the content of their learning (eg. different methods of presentation: poster, PowerPoint, drama, story, video, Prezi, song, drawing)
  • Allowing students to incorporate their interests and passions into projects (eg. topic for writing/art/reading)
5. Narrative- unfolding of a story
  • Designing cohesive units with lessons interconnected by an essential question- a question that unfolds more and more over the unit
  • Asking students to create and share stories or role play scenarios to reinforce learning
6. Fantasy- using imagination for make-believe
  • Having the opportunity to be creative in learning (eg. creating comic strip for the rock cycle, designing a creature that would survive Mars)
  • Engaging with fiction
7. Sensation- enjoying beauty in art (via senses of sight, hearing, touch)
  • Integrating art projects of different mediums into different subject areas (eg. painting predator eyes during a unit about the food web; connecting mathematical sequences to music; baking cupcakes in learning about fractions)
8. Submission - having a mindless past-time
  • Learning and mindless seem quite contradictory. Perhaps this principle would not be applicable, except maybe when I surf Pintrest or Twitter for ideas (but I would consider this more automated than mindless).


Hunicke, R., LeBlanc, M., and Zubek, R. 2004. MDA: A formal approach to game
    design and game research. In Proceedings of the Challenges in Game AI    
    Workshop, 19th National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI '04, San
    Jose, CA), AAAI Press.
"As a new teacher, how has social media helped you?"
- Chris Wejr

When I started the Education program in September, I barely left a footprint in the education social media world. But that quickly changed under the mentorship of Ryan Hong, who directed me towards exploring the many tools available for sharing resources, connecting with other educators, and developing as an educator.

These are the resources that I currently use:
  • Weebly Blog - a place to record my experiences and reflections related to teaching; I also love reading the blogs of other educators to increase the depth and breadth of my learning
  • Twitter (@BettyFei)- a fantastic tool for sharing of ideas and resources, making connections with other educators across the globe, and keeping up-to-date with issues, questions, and initiatives in current education
  • WikiSpace/FaceBook- great tools for staying connected and sharing ideas with others in my education cohort
  • YouTube Channel/Teaching Channel- great tools for finding multimedia resources, seeing lessons and classroom practices in action, and sharing of ideas with other educators
  • Pinterest/Edmodo- useful platforms for sharing ideas and resources
Addition: Since Nov 30, 2012, I also began using:
  • Instagram- useful for making student learning more visible to both students and parents; a great visual record of learning for the whole year
"Taking learning risks is not easy; but if I expect my students to be bold learners, then it must begin with me. "

Being involved with the girls' volleyball team has been a wonderful experience: learning from great coaches (Mr. Hong and Mr. Weltzin), witnessing the girls' progress in skill and confidence, and being inspired by the girls' enthusiastic team spirit at every game.

However, volleyball was never a personal forte; so it was definitely a step from my comfort zone to facilitate an impromptu practice (with Mrs. Shakur, another teacher candidate) and to referee the home games. To be honest, I didn't completely know what I was doing. But sometimes, jumping in, taking the learning risk, and being willing to learn from one's possible mistakes is more important than knowing everything before starting (though not to downplay the need for preparedness). Taking learning risks is not easy; but if I expect my students to be bold learners, then it must begin with me.
Via class jobs, students can take on more responsibility as well as more fully utilize their talents and skills. Also, it is fascinating to find out about what strengths and experiences students consider themselves to have.

So why not ask students to fill out a job application for class jobs?